Sadly, ten things you’ll never see

…if you’re now past 70/80, in Guyana

-do you care to vote in November?

I suppose that every year I indulge – in muted exasperation – and acceptance? – in the lamentation expressed in my lead caption(s).

But even in my solid surrender and conclusion, I hope to be proven quite wrong! Seriously friends, I really don’t wish my predictions to come true. To be sustained to our collective detriment. And who knows, by say 2025, all my negative prognostications will be washed away. And this generation of citizens will experience a renaissance of high desirable standards – that quality of the “good life” which Honourable Finance Minister Jordan has long promised.

 However, based on realities of the past thirty years and rooted in my understanding of the “new” Guyanese human nature; the youthful defiance of cultured behaviour and rules; along with the politicisation of even the few good governmental policies and programmes, as of right now, I despair. I declare most pessimistically, that we who are post – 70/80 – and don’t /can’t live for another fifteen years – will never joyfully experience an improved quality of life as manifested in some simple things which are routine, normal elsewhere. Check my fears below!

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Little hope, accurate me?

So remember I speak of “ordinary, routine” needs, services, desireables of standard – if not excellence so prevalent elsewhere.

Take public transportation. I see no marked improvement on the horizon. Just scruffy conductors, carefree drivers in mini-buses. Bless the spirit and intent of the remigrant who thinks of bringing back spacious, high-end maxi big buses. Ha! That’s for more civilized societies. Let’s see the encumbrances to be thrown in the gentleman’s face.

Secondly – still public transportation. We will never enjoy modern ferry terminals. Stabroek and Supenaam are the primitive facilities we will be made to endure. Bajan seaports are lovely.

Thirdly – hundreds of thousands of vehicles will be doomed to use the only roads Georgetown has known for many decades. Forgotten streets will never be upgraded. But the Ogle/Turkeyen – Providence/ Diamond new by-pass might, just might, get Honourable Patterson’s blessing by the 2020 oil/jubilee elections.

Fourth: For sure, I know I’ll never be around to witness a real Garden City capital with required drainage, collected garbage, orderly regulated civilised vending and pleasant-smelling markets, as well as two or three landscaped city squares. Never!!! Never!!!

Fifth: indirectly related to four just above. We seniors won’t survive long enough to see satisfactory closed-circuit surveillance cameras and adequate street lighting in either towns or villages. The younger dot-com generation could be luckier in that regard. So helpful for security!

Sixth: Could my generation dare hope to experience well-trained, courteous young policemen and women? No hope? Systemic failures, poor quality recruits and poor pay.

Seventh: and what about modernised village police stations equipped with telecommunications, computers, village-profiles and transportation – manned by a minimum of six officers on duty, even at nights? What? I’m dreaming because of age?

In sport, will we get an alternative state of the art stadium? Did you read about the type of stadium a Jamaican high school is about to launch?

I’ll get general with my ninth and tenth regrets. Will senior citizens – not that many of us, you know – ever be treated with real respect and dignity by officialdom? From pensions to subsidies to courtesies? And though my few army friends claim that I’m not including the GDF, will we ever know and practice punctuality? Starting on time?

I trust you don’t regard me as a doom-and-gloom pessimist. I’m arguing that in seven to ten years nothing much will change, that’s all. Notice I left out blackouts. (That’s because I suspect that the Jamaican CEO will use the latest significant funding effectively.) For the others above just pray that I’m wrong, wrong, wrong! Wanna bet?

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Why, how to vote in November

Our Elections Commission just outlined a simple but persuasive list of reasons why eligible citizens should vote for local community representatives in November.

Local direct democracy whereby known local reps are chosen to manage local governance. Can’t argue against that. Or could we?

First, both GECOM and those who are soliciting your support must explain simply the two types of voting that’s required if your candidate party or group will contest constituencies fully. I’ll return to the LGE continually but I conclude this with three brief observations: as in the USA, voters are usually indifferent to local polls and “mid-terms” – though it is a different story in America this November; local government candidates often use these polls to test their popularity, to enter local office before attempting bigger things and yes, I do believe that there were numerous pre-Nomination Day discrepancies, even fraud, last week. Much more next time.

You must ponder…

●   1) Under Forbes Burnham’s watch, we saw banga and pepperpot in cans,

      carambola caramel preserves, local clay blocks and toothpowder. Whatever

     happened?

● 2) The 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report issued by the US State

    Department notes in part that “a lack of resources, weak law enforcement

    institutions, an ineffective judicial system, and inadequate compensation for civil

    service employees and public safety officials facilitate corruption throughout all

     sectors.”

How should the coalition respond to those conclusions?

●   3) Many minor cocaine couriers were intercepted recently. But keep your

     attention  on the big cocaine-in-lumber court matter. What’s your feeling?

’Til next week!

(allanafenty@yahoo.com)

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